James Bond your thing? Cool. I have a spy book for you that you are going to love.
Families of Spies by Brian Landers
Eveline Sadeghi disappears while sailing from Kefalonia to Sicily. The authorities conclude there must have been an accident but it soon becomes obvious that Eveline and her Iranian husband have been murdered. The murderers have made dangerous enemies. Eveline’s brother is Admiral Lord Grimspound, the Director General of Defence Intelligence.
He demands that MI6 investigates his sister’s death but they have different priorities: there is a spy at the Sighonella NATO airbase on the island.
Grimspound sends Julia and Thomas Dylan to investigate. They discover that a suspiciously well informed local detective is already investigating another murder and is convinced that the murders are linked. The link he claims is not in Sicily but in the feuding world of Iranian exiles.
But there is a Sicilian connection, a connection that goes right back to an infamous Mafia massacre in 1947.
To unravel the mystery of Eveline Sadeghi’s death Julia and Thomas must understand history but above all they must understand families, including their own.
This is a very well thought out spy novel. Very detailed. I admire how the author produced such a spiderweb of events, tied them all up with no errors, and had everything make sense at the end. The making sense part was very important to me because, admittedly, there were some instances in Families of Spies when I felt a bit lost. I think that happened me for two reasons. One is that the story had a few two many tangents. The other is that this book is more discussion than action. Sometimes, when I’m being told something rather than being shown it, it can go over my head a bit.
Families of Spies is not a book where you really get attached to the characters. It’s really more about solving the case rather than character development. Saying that, it was a treat to have Julia and Thomas Dylan as the main characters, a newly married couple who work together and have to cut their honeymoon short to help with the investigation. They gave spy teams a new spin and made the story a bit more human.
Finally, I really enjoyed the political narrative in Families of Spies. It was interesting to see various political relationships in the 70s, and find that many of them have not changed very much today. Also, it was refreshing to have a book set in Sicily where the Mafia are actually the lesser of two evils.
What do you think? Will you give this new spy novel a try?
Families of Spies is available to purchase now.
I was sent a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.